You think because you understand one you must understand two because one and one makes two. But you must also understand and, Sufi saying.
Consider this: Everything is interconnected to everything else in an unbroken wholeness. What this means is that nothing is separate: mind and body, you and me, us and them, believing and seeing, inside and outside, left and right, liberal and conservative, etc. etc. etc. (Separate, by definition, means not connected).
And what this also means is that interconnectedness requires such things as interdependency, togetherness, inclusion, collaboration, cooperation, equality, unity, compassion. These are human traits that are not well known right now. Self-interests and other interests are also interconnected, but we don’t like to admit it. Can you imagine what it would mean if we acknowledged that everything is interconnected?
I have written a lot about interconnectedness and admitted that I don’t understand it. Although I promote open-mindedness and inclusiveness, I really don’t fully understand inclusiveness. Systems science tells us that the whole is equal to more than the sum of the parts. As I was beginning to understand this, quantum physics now tell us that each part IS the whole. How am I expected to understand that? No part is separate???
This not understanding helps me promote my uncertainty and open-mindedness. Some of the most significant and wonderful things in our history are hard to completely understand, maybe even unknowable: the origin of the universe, quantum physics, human consciousness, God, what happens after death, etc. Perhaps this story told by Neils Bohr, a founding father of quantum physics, will help explain my title and subtitle.
The story is about a young student attending three lectures by a famous rabbi. The student says the first lecture was very good, he understood everything. The second lecture was much better — the student didn’t understand, but the rabbi understood everything. The third lecture was the best of all; it was so good that the rabbi didn’t understand it.
Bohr tells this story because he says he never understood quantum physics, even though he helped create it. To me this illustrates that what we are learning about the universe and human existence in it is “so good” that nobody really understands it all.
The interconnectedness of everything to everything else is a wonderful unknown story we are living. The unknown part is the reason science and religion were invented. And both now are beginning to realize that neither has yet completely solved the unknown. I don’t think we should abandon the interconnectedness as unknowable or be incapacitated by not knowing. We need to keep trying to understand unknown interconnectedness and to enjoy living the mystery.
Life is not a puzzle to be solved but a mystery to be lived, Thomas Merton.